Three Federal Agencies Connect to Improve Electric Grid Cybersecurity 

In a rare move the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding to partner on the Energy Sector Pathfinder initiative

The goals of the initiative are to advance information sharing, improve training and education to understand systemic risks and develop joint operational preparedness and response activities to cybersecurity threats to the nation’s electric grid. 

“This MOU we entered into today with our partners at DOE and DoD stands as an example of that commitment,” said Bryan Ware, DHS assistant director for cybersecurity at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. “The lessons learned through this program will help inform the process and develop indicators and warnings across multiple national critical functions, enhance cyber threat information sharing efforts and facilitate rapid response and improved resiliency across all sectors.” 

The Pathfinder initiative is a series of programs designed to address the technologies, challenges and threats facing a specific critical infrastructure sector that is adapted to its regulatory environment, maturity and existing relationship with the U.S. government. This specific Energy Sector Pathfinder is focused on the electric grid and will explore challenges facing America’s energy critical infrastructure and strengthen interagency collaboration on preventing and responding to constantly evolving cyber threats. 

“We are committed to collaborating with our partners so that they can address the challenges facing America’s energy critical infrastructure, including constantly evolving cyber threats, and so that DoD can more effectively defend against foreign threats,” said Kenneth Rupuano, assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security. “This collaborative effort is complementary to the DoD Cyber Strategy objective to defend U.S. critical infrastructure from malicious foreign cyber activity.” 

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